Why Marriage Matters :: It’s Good for the Economy

This Sunday we’re starting a new series on Marriage at Renew Communities called “What Are We Fighting For?”  If you can join us you really should!  I wanted to cover a few things here that probably won’t show up in the teachings for this series…

This idea is a strange one but David Frum has an interesting article over at CNN.COM.  As a disclaimer there is plenty of talk in the article about the same-sex marriage debate but the meat is about marriage’s impact on the economy.  Here’s a few quotes…

The end of the same-sex marriage debate does not, however, settle the problem of marriage in America. Not remotely. Among the 95% to 97% of Americans who are not gay, the institution of marriage continues to weaken — with ominous consequences for the next generation.

About 40% of all the babies born in the United States are born to unmarried women. Just about everybody agrees that this is a worrying development.

As candidate Barack Obama told a Chicago church in 2008:

“(C)hildren who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of schools, and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.”

And later…

The United States is becoming an increasingly class-stratified society. The few at the top enjoy unprecedented affluence. The many in the middle and at the bottom face narrowing opportunities and declining standards of living. The dwindling of marriage is both cause and consequence of America’s evolution away from a society of equal chances. The restoration of marriage is crucial to reviving the middle class and offering hope to the poor.

Marriage means two incomes at a time when most Americans find two incomes essential to earning a middle-class livelihood.

Marriage secures the active presence of fathers in children’s lives.

Marriage means more asset accumulation: Married families save more at every income level.

Marriage means fewer accidents and illnesses, less stress, and more happiness and personal fulfillment.

While this may seem less spiritual than what you’d expect a pastor be pointing out it seems another benefit of what God intended in marriage.

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